This is a B-western with an all-black cast that includes Spencer Williams and Mantan Moreland. Mantan's part isn't large, but he does have some very telling moments. Unfortunately this print represents the poor state of preservation of many surviving race films.
Written and Directed by Richard C Kahn.
Released in 1938.
Approximately 4 minutes are missing.
SPECIAL NOTE: The copyright notice in the opening credits refers to content not included here. This film is in the public domain.
CAST NOTE: The multi-talented actor/writer/director/producer Spencer Williams (Butch Carter) is probably best known for his role as Andy in the "Amos 'n Andy" TV series (1951-55) He is here at IA in "Son of Ingagi" for which he also wrote the story and screenplay. As if all this wasn't enough, Williams also was a Jazz and popular music composer. He was inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame for "Basin Street Blues" and a long string of other hits.
November 16, 2019 Subject:
Herb Jeffries From the Range to Harlem and Back
All things considered - plot, script, acting, music, musical performances - and the overall quality of "B" westerns - black or white - this a good film. It has an interesting, if somewhat unbelievable plot, some fine performances by some of Black America's best actors and musicians, an above average script, some pretty women, a little action with fists and guns and some humor. Herb Jeffrrey plays a double roll as Bob Blake, framed for a murder by the dead man's wife and The Deacon a shady and dangerous maybe cleric in Harlem in NYC. Now, why they had to have Jeffrey escape all the way to NYC - St. Louis would probably have done just as well - or Chicago, his first stop. Bur why NYC where he just happens to have and cross paths with his double is stretching things a bit - maybe that worked better for a dramatic title. There is almost 5 minutes missing from this film, which seem to me to have contained Blake's interaction with The Deacon - all they do is meet and butt heads with wordplay - and then the film cuts back south when The Deacon shows up unheralded. Anyway, the plot works no matter where he might have gone. We get some classic Black bad guys from Clarence Brooks (Mr. Barker), Tom Southern (Mr. Steel) and Spencer Williams, Jr. (Butch Carter, who is best known to the world as Andy from the classic TV show "Amos and Andy." Beautiful women abound, some faithful like Margaret Whitten (Sally Thompson) and others displaying various degrees of treachery such as Rose Lee Lincoln (Dolores) who favors us with a very sexy dance and Mae Turner (Mrs. Ruth Steel), a much more venomous snake. Then there is Mantan Moreland (Bill Blake) and Stymie Beard (Jimmie Thompson) famous from being in the "Our Gang" comedies. Last, but not least, rhythm dynamo Paul Blackman - The One Man Band and vocalists The Cats and the Fiddle and The Four Tones. And, of course, Jeffrey favors us with a few songs in his beautiful tenor voice. Its not great, but it should not be missed.